#MDMC19: Rocking Visual Marketing as Non-Designers

By Patricia Knight

Jeff Sieh, Known as “Head Beard” Host for Manly Pinterest Tips and Owner/Creative Director at His Design, Inc. talked to us about visual marketing can be used without being a Graphic Designer. Visual is super important to describe what’s going on in the image that we view or create. Sieh discussed taking the graphics to the next level. He showed us an image of a Barbie doll wearing a shrimp on her head like a hat as a joke to the Australian phrase, “Putting shrimp on the barbie”. A picture of a cannoli dessert on the bottom of the word “I” and top of the word “imagine” to create a pun for the phrase, “I can only imagine”.


  • Collect Consistently


Pixar’s Instagram page is the best example of images that related to visual marketing since they are the best storyteller on their platform. Pinterest is a good place to share images to audiences to stand out your pinboards on your page. Taking photos can help you with ideas of storytelling later. Evernote is a great app to collect ideas for images when you’re out and about. Dribbble app is for designers to go get inspired and get hired as creative professionals.

A mental note is no note at all”

-Ken Davis

Adobe Capture CC app is used for capturing photos and turning into a scalable vector for use in a logo, illustration, animation, and more. You can even find your typography and capture light and color to turn into beautiful color grading profiles for your images and videos. Font Finder is a cool app where you take a picture or upload from your phone, tap the font that you want to identify and test it out with your own text.

http://Depositphotos.com is definitely a timesaver for finding ideas for content with royalty-free photographs, vector images, stock footage and editorial files available to use for customers that you work with. http://www.Ifttt.com is a website that you can visit to save ideas with connecting all of your different apps and devices, like automatically backing up your photos and sharing them online for you. Thanks to Ifttt, procrastination is Jeff’s main power. SPAR! app gets you to create or join a challenge for goals with your friends, make a proof that you achieved your goal(s), and winners get to split the pot.

  •  Condense Construction

The site, http://www.Canva.com is great for quick and easy graphics for social media headers and posts.  Another graphic site, http://www.easil.com allows you to create awesome Instagram story templates.

Templates are very important for creating images for flyers and signs. Photoshop templates are made in Adobe Photoshop program to create image contents that can include words or phrases.

The websites, www.creativemarket.com and www.mightydeals.com are best for photoshop templates. Creative Market-Scene Creator Mockup is great for adding a photo layer on top of an image background. There are free stock photo sites for people who don’t want to pay for anything, like pexels.com, unsplash.com, and librestock.com, while depositphotos.com and www.123RF.com  are the only paid stock photo sites for images that you want to use.

Video templates are created by using Adobe Premiere to create and edit videos with clips. Movable GIF-like ads on Pinterest are the coolest ways to get people engaged like Kohl’s Cash ad that can allow while you’re browsing on Pinterest. The video templates site, videohive.net, and digitaljuice.com have everything that you need to create videos on Adobe Premiere. Wave.video is great for creating Instagram Story with awesome music, watermark, and high-quality video. Slide.ly/promo is a quick video creator whenever you want to share videos to everyone right away.

Free video creator such as headliner.app and Adobe Spark let you create clips and graphics into stunning storytelling videos to share to the audiences on social media platforms. Enlight is a paid mobile app that is used for revitalize colors with two-toned gradients for a retro feel in images and decorative touches with add and customize text, doodle, borders of photos and other cool creative stuff.

Sieh used a self-portrait of himself on one of the image editing apps called FaceTune and use Brad Pitt’s head as a layer image to cover his entire head as an example of using an image layer in a photo. Afterlight 2 have cool filters to edit image brightness and contrast. Instasize app use filters that are similar to Instagram’s filters while you edit photos and videos. Apollo: Immersive Illumination is the only mobile app that allows you to add light sources to your Portrait Mode photos even after the photos is taken.

Enlight Photofox  is an app that I personally use that create sophisticated layers by combining photos and re-edit each layer at any time as well as making stunning double exposures and unique designs with graphic elements. Enlight Quickshot mobile app edits any photo and takes photos with a filter like Instagram, but you get to add neat special effects. Enlight Pixaloop mobile app helps you refresh your photos into life with photo element like adding clouds in the sky to move along with animations in seconds and easily created cinematic magic with your images. This app also allows your image to be animated.

Photoshop CC- Workflow is a program to use on the computer to edit images with special filters and layer images to make them unique for audiences to be engaged to your creation. Enlight Videoleap mobile app has cool features like mixing videos to make them creative, adding text and emojis, visually use Hollywood green screen to make Hollywood-level films, and adding fun & artistic effects. Slider by Word Swag app helps you easily turn your photos into a video story, brand your own posts with logo and colors, and twerking your posts to sing with your own music or exclusive TV-quality tracks. You can get access to over a million free photos in this app. Adobe Rush app allows everyone to shoot, edit, share videos with cool features to social channels.

  • Combine Creatively

Stephanie Liu works for Lights, Camera, Live as a host and she stands out her creativity by using her image on the computer screen for a graphic advertisement for her Facebook Live show. Colorzilla is a Google Chrome Plugin that allows everyone to use any color that they pick for their brands. The website, Paletton.com is great at letting visitors select any color in the color palette for their graphic images. Adobe Rush is similar to Adobe Premiere, but it’s free to use for everyone who wants to create videos.

“90% perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100% perfect and stuck in your head.”

-Jon Acuff

Sieh also mentioned that image contents don’t have to be perfect, but with excellent quality and having people help you with creating good images can be a good thing. Creating image content can sometimes be hard for some people to do if they didn’t have knowledge of visual marketing.

I learn a lot of different programs that allow everyone to create images and videos to gain audiences to view their social media posts. It was very fun to hear good facts about visual marketing. Go follow Jeff Sieh on Twitter @jeffsieh and connect with him on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/jeffsieh/. You can also visit his website, http://manlypinteresttips.com for podcasts, blogs, and videos about Visual Marketing.

#MDMC19: Shane Barker Reveals Everything You Need To Know About Influencer Marketing

By Sarah Thomas

It is no secret that influencer marketing is extremely successful! I mean with 1 billion monthly users on Instagram spending an average of 53 minutes a day on the platform, influencers have a huge reach! Influencer marketing has completely taken off leaving a lot of businesses’ in the dark on how to use it to their advantage and just not using it at all.

Digital Strategist and Influencer Consultant, Shane Barker shared his influencer marketing expertise with us at MDMC this year. Shane shared everything from his experience consulting influencers, to the best ways for businesses to utilize influencer marketing. Keep reading for answers to your influencer marketing questions!

Influencer Marketing Works

Influencer marketing works because influencers have gained the trust of their audience. When someone you know suggests something, you trust their opinion and recommendations. This is why when an influencer shares a product, their audience is quick to try it! Even I have been guilty of impulse buying the electric toothbrush that my favorite youtuber swears by – haha!


Finding The Right Influencers

Shane shared four tools that can help you find influencers that best suit your business and goals.

  • Buzzsumo – Helps you find trending content ideas and relevant influencers
  • GRIN – Find influencers, and run and track your campaigns
  • GroupHigh – Find relevant bloggers and influencers, track and measure content reach
  • Insightpool – Identify relevant influencers with helpful tools like discovery, activation, and insights

How To Pitch Influencers

Before you send a pitch, you should get to know the influencer you are interested in. Do this by taking the time to follow and engage with what they share on social media. Look for any common interests that you can mention when reaching out. A pitch should be personalized to each influencer you are reaching out to so that the influencer gets the sense you genuinely want to work with them. Influencers are receiving a lot of pitches so be sure to make yours unique!

Successful Influencer Marketing

In order for influencer marketing to be successful, Shane shared a few key components to control.

  • Know your audience – this is the biggest thing to consider before choosing an influencer. Choose an influencer that has the same audience as your target audience.
  • Know your goals – in order to keep things clear with the influencer you should set specific goals and communicate those to your influencers.
  • Customize your approach – Your approach should be customized to each influencer you work with depending on their audience and personality

Now that you’re in the know on how businesses can utilize influencer marketing, take the leap and try it out! Be sure to check out Shane Barker, @shanebarker on Instagram and @shane_barker on Twitter.

#MDMC19: Wilson Raj- Elevating your Customer Experience with AI

By Kyle Eggering

AI has begun to dominate the marketing discussion. Who better to give us a rundown on AI than Wilson Raj!? Raj is the Global Director of Customer Intelligence at SAS. SAS is a world-renowned data analytics company that’s been around since the 1960s. The quality of their company is clearly shown in Raj, a true leader in his field and an excellent speaker as well.

One of the main points Raj tried to emphasize is that AI does not do all the work for you. An example he used an ancient stone tablet of one of the first recorded transactions ever made. On it, it listed everything you would expect a transaction to list. The name of the buyer and seller, what was being sold, how much it was sold for in the end, all data that is easily stored. But what it didn’t have was what Raj called “haggling data.” Haggling data is the human part of the data that machines don’t tend to pick up. How aggressive was the seller? What did the buyer expect to have to pay in the beginning? How much debate was done between the two on the pricing? This is the type of data that would be considered haggling data.

What AI does allow us to do, is worry less about the statistical data, and focus on the human data. By learning what your customer is like, you can turn them from a customer, into an advocate. This is the main point Raj wanted to make, and AI can help with this. By learning data on the customer, AI can help you find out what you need to do to please them. But ultimately, humans know humans better than computers do, and it’s up to you to keep that customer. Just know that AI can give you a little bit of help with that.

Are you interested in MDMC? Be sure to check it out at https://bestmarketingconference.com/en/. And if you want to know more about Raj, be sure to check him out on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/wilsonraj/.

#MDMC19: What You Missed At The 2019 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference


By Katelyn Chostner

I hope you made it to the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference this year because it was every digital marketer’s dream! We saw a rise in attendees with over 1900 people showing up to get their digital marketing on at Union Station in St. Louis.

The mornings started off with keynote speakers that were jam-packed with onlookers. MDMC decided to live stream the speakers in the exhibitor hall so that everyone would be able to hear the presentations. After the keynotes, everyone got up to attend breakout sessions or explore the tables in the exhibitor hall.

The hall was packed with so many different St. Louis companies, like Anvil, UMSL Business, SteadyRain, SLAM! Agency and more. The crowd was able to visit with these exhibitors and speak with them about their company missions. With so many different companies and organizations, there was something there for everyone.

Emily Koehler, an MDMC first-timer, talked about how she was there to learn more about digital marketing. She works for ej4, a training technology company, as a marketing coordinator. Koehler works a lot with SEO strategy and optimizing their website and MDMC was a great place for her to learn more.

“So far I love it. MDMC is a really great mix of people. Everyone is so friendly, and you can just tell that people are here to meet and network with other people and just share expertise… Sessions so far have been really interesting. I just went to a great SEO panel and all of the speakers had different expertise, but they all shared such interesting things that I’m definitely going to take back to the workplace with me,” said Koehler.

Some booths had amazing handouts and attractions for attendees. Strange Cares was giving out some of Strange Donuts’ signature treats, such as Maple Bacon, Rainbow Pony, and Gooey Butter. An even crazier, but awesome attraction was Voltron. Shareable: Social Video Strategy by Coolfire invited people to come and visit their booth in the company of the Legendary Defender. Fans were able to walk around Union Station and grab pics with (the scaled-down-to-size) character who roamed the halls.


Eventually, everyone’s favorite time of the day came around: lunchtime. MDMC provided everyone with some crazy good food trucks to choose from. K-Bop, Locoz Tacoz, UKraft, and Andrew’s Bayou Ribs were just a few trucks out of many that served everyone. Some people were worried about lines, but these trucks showed their skills by getting people their food only a few minutes after they ordered.

K-Bop seemed to be the most popular choice for lunch as people lined down the sidewalk past other trucks to wait for their mouth-watering Korean BBQ in a bowl.

“I love the food selection. I think it’s a great representation of all the food and culture St. Louis has to offer and even though there’s a ton of people here lines are moving so quickly. There’s something here for everyone and the line was a great place to get to know people and network with other marketers also,” said Koehler.

There’s no better way to get to know people than over food and sunshine (or a little bit of rain for those there on the second day). If you missed the chance to network and educate yourself on the latest marketing trend, or even grab some great food, you can always sign up for next year. You know what they say: Don’t make the same mistake twice! Keep an eye out on MDMC’s website for next year’s tickets.

#MDMC Scholarship Recipient: Samuel Craig

Hear from one of two first-ever MDMC Scholarship Recipients!

My name is Sam Craig, I am a senior marketing major at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. I am honored to be a recipient of the MDMC Scholarship. I applied for this scholarship because out of all the available grants, the MDMC Scholarship aligned almost perfectly with my academic and professional aspirations. During my first semester at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, in my digital marketing class taught by Professor Perry Drake, I discovered the scholarship and the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference. Dr. Drake spoke frequently and highly about the conference and the strength of the MDMC network; this made me excited about the possibility of entering that network. Since I became an MDMC scholar, I have been exposed to numerous opportunities for my career and education; without this scholarship, I would not have had these opportunities. The scholarship gave me increased pride and confidence in myself as a marketing student and professional. I hope to carry this pride and confidence forward throughout my career. I would love to expand my creative skills, as I have experience working for a marketing agency as a video producer and editor. I also enjoy producing music in my spare time. I hope to advance to a creative director position at a company in the near future. I value company culture and significance in the community, so I hope to achieve that goal at a company that aligns with those values. The MDMC scholarship has greatly enhanced my time here at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and I am beyond thankful for the opportunities I have received and will continue to receive down the road.

I encourage any student who is interested in this scholarship to pursue more information on it by visiting the website or contacting Dr. Drake himself. Students can greatly benefit from this scholarship and many others like it!

#MDMC Scholarship Recipient: Gabby Menneneier

Hear from one of two first-ever MDMC Scholarship Recipients!

Hi, my name is Gabby and today I’m going to be talking about my experience with MCMC, Professor Perry Drake, and my MDMC scholarship. I applied for the MDMC scholarship because it was a scholarship that I qualified for and my degree is focused on Marketing and Digital Marketing Communications. Being one of nine kids, my parents do not have money lying around to help pay for my college. Since enrolling at UMSL, it has been my goal to graduate debt-free and without student loans. I’ve worked very hard in the past few years to make this happen. When my last semester was approaching, I was trying to figure out a way to pay for my last semester of college to no avail. I already work more than full time, so I was at a loss. This scholarship was a Godsend for me. Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to reach this goal, but little did I know that my hard work was paying me back.

I found out about the scholarship through my professor, Dr. Perry Drake, whose classes I took in the Spring of 2018 and am currently taking in the Fall of 2018. I heard about MDMC when Dr. Drake gave us the opportunity to attend the conference as a volunteer. I was hesitant to volunteer because I have never worked at a conference before, and to make it more daunting, it was a huge conference. A couple of weeks before, I had a meeting with Dr. Drake and he asked if I would be willing to do a little more than a regular volunteer. He mentioned that he noticed how hard I work and that I’m a good student and would be capable of handling it. Trusting in his opinion, I agreed. I thought to myself that it couldn’t be that much more than a regular volunteer because I’ve never done this before…man was I wrong. The first day of the conference I arrived at 6:30am to help prep, and I was one of 5 people who was given a walkie-talkie. Instantly after taking my walkie, I assumed I was given the wrong job. I oversaw several volunteers as well as the ballroom floor where there were at least 4 to 8 sessions happening at a time for the two days. I am so grateful for this opportunity because it helped me realize the type of leader I am. It also gave me the chance to attend some sessions and learn a lot about marketing. MDMC and the scholarship it provided has given me a chance to further invest in my future. I hope to one day help a business be able to expand and reach their clientele through social media with the business and marketing skills that I have acquired.

For more information on this, and many other scholarships that UMSL has to offer, check out http://www.umsl.edu/services/finaid/scholarships/. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Inspiration and Lessons Learned from the 2018 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

By: Weber Shandwick St. Louis

Despite the dreariness of last week’s weather, some brightness shone as marketing students, industry professionals and marketing and communications leaders gathered for the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference in downtown St. Louis. Weber Shandwick’s Digital Account & Engagement Lead Obele Brown-West led an engaging discussion on how brands and organizations are leveraging AI on social media to create compelling new content that drives commerce.

Reflecting on Obele’s presentation, I wondered how much have I purchased through social media? How did these ads even target me as a consumer? This world of social commerce isn’t necessarily new, but it’s fascinating how easily it has crept into our daily lives and how rapidly it evolves. Obele mentioned that “this presentation will probably be antiquated by the time we leave this room.” As quickly as things change in the social commerce landscape, that’s definitely a possibility.

Combining the right tools and technology with social media means transforming the way we shop in our daily lives, and transforming how we convert consumers in our professional lives. Social platforms shake up the consumer experience and directly correlate to bottom of the funnel marketing objectives.

While my bias may tell me that my colleague’s presentation was the best of them all, there was still a lot to learn from many other experts attending the conference. From crisis management, to visual storytelling, read some of my colleagues’ thoughts and takeaways from the conference below!

– Rodney Pruitt, Associate, Client Experience Digital

Social Media Crisis Management Panel

Reputation takes years to build and minutes to dissolve in the wake of a crisis. Social media managers need to have the tools and know-how at the ready to manage an issue quickly and effectively, even if they are not crisis communications experts. While most PR professionals know just enough to be dangerous when it comes to managing a crisis, there’s still a lot to learn, much of which can only come from experience. A panel of local crisis powerhouses shared their insights on how to prepare before a crisis or issue, based on their many years in the trenches. Here’s what they said:


—Read More at the Weber Shandwick Blog—


MDMC 16 Speaker Named Brand Innovators 40 Under 40

We would like to extend a congratulations to our MCMC 16 speaker, Veena Ramesh who was named a Brand Innovators 40 Under 40. Veena is the Digital Lead of Global Digital Strategy and Beauty at Johnson & Johnson.
VeenaVeena has a deep understanding of global consumer behavior as she has lived and worked across Asia, the Middle East and the US. Prior to moving into the global role – She increased the Digital IQ, set processes and implemented a hub and spoke model of managing Digital, across the six ASEAN countries, within J&J. Veena also co-created the Advanced Web Analytics program at NYU. Veena graduated from the National University of Singapore with a B.B.A (Finance) and NYU with a M.S. in Integrated Marketing.
Veena’s 4 Trends to Watch For:
1. Attracting Digital Talent – You cannot escape the topic of how to hire and retain digital talent in any forum. This will continue to be a hot topic. Companies should stop hiring based on the same yard stick that they use to hire a traditional marketer. You need to woo and have strategies to retain “t-shape” leaders with vertical digital depth but ability to navigate across the organization. You might need to search for this talent in unconventional ways.
2. Every marketer needs to be a Digital Marketer – Companies are now starting to put traditional marketers through Digital Bootcamps- Rutgers and GA run some good corporate programs. But that is not enough. The only way to learn is by doing. Marketers need to get their training wheels off and be able to plan and execute campaigns that include digital.
3. Role of a Digital Agency – We are seeing an explosion of content providers and low cost production houses flood the market. In this landscape the digital agencies have to step up and play a more elevated role in stewardship of the brand, creating multi-dimensional ideas and providing measurable ROI.
4. Social at the Core organizations – You will attract digital talent only if your employees know how to navigate the social space. Do you have 30s-1min video that outlines the day in a life? Do all your employees engage in the campaigns that you launch? Every company needs to honestly ask themselves how they are perceived by potential candidates.
This article was originally posted on Brand Innovators 40 Under 40